6-year investigation leads to major gangs, guns and drugs takedown by law enforcement in Chicago

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Friday, April 28, 2023
6-year investigation leads to gangs, guns, drugs takedown in Chicago
A six-year investigation lead to a major takedown involving a Chicago gang, drug trafficking and automatic weapons.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The top-secret investigation began in 2017, and has netted top drug gangsters, according to the FBI, along with an arsenal, including automatic weapons

Documents reviewed by the ABC7 I-Team reveal the deep investigative efforts used by law enforcement.

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Undercover videos and pictures show the people charged doing sizable drug deals involving cocaine, crack and heroin. Federal agents said much of it contained fentanyl.

Since 2017, undercover investigators have snapped pictures as guns allegedly changed hands from car trunks. Agents and informants followed suspects as they allegedly did gun and drug deals. Videos and telephone intercepts are quoted in numerous records obtained by the I-Team.

Guns, including automatic weapons, were found in alleged gang work cars this month, according to the FBI, Chicago and state police and some local departments. They moved quickly to make arrests in the six-year-old ongoing investigation, apparently because the South Side-based "Rack City" gang had learned authorities might be onto them.

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Among those charged, some had nicknames, including "Itch," "Twiggz," and "Baby Stone." They range in age from 33 to 67. A ninth man, who was charged, is listed as living in west suburban Hinsdale.

Photos of guns confiscated during the operation are shown in federal criminal complaints against the men. They range from pistols to long guns, and some have extended magazines capable of firing dozens of rounds.

Also pictured in the complaints are the gang's bread and butter: bags and bricks of drugs that were weighed after being seized by agents.

Another photo shows a 33-year-old felon holding two assault style rifles, according to the FBI. At the bottom of the photo are the letters TSG, allegedly referring to the "Tank Sum Gang." That's a tribute to a now-dead gang member known as "Lil Tank," who was said to be killed by Chicago police officers.

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Two summers ago, a pair of the currently accused drug traffickers happened to be arrested after Chicago police found drugs during a traffic stop. They were later released with no charges to keep the larger FBI investigation covert.

Drug traffickers have started using FaceTime to communicate privately, according to federal agents. They admit they were unable to intercept FaceTime conversations between some suspects in this case.

All individuals charged in the case have had their initial court appearances.